At the moment our collection extends to (only) five cats, with ambitions for a few more, as well as rabbits, guinea pigs, chickens, goats, donkeys, dogs - the girls spend 80% of their waking life talking about when we can get a dog and what sort to get - and more. I wrote recently about the history of our cats, both past and present, but you can see just how gorgeous they are in the photos above and below. Friends, companions, comforters, hot water bottles, cushions, nurses and nannies, our five felines are essential and honoured members of the family, never 'just cats', and they are worshipped and adored accordingly.
I've mentioned before that I get a bit nervous in houses where there are no books on display, it makes me a bit edgy and slightly concerned about the people who live there. It's the same with pets. I never quite understand why family homes don't have some sort of pet, single people who are out morning, noon and night I understand, but once you have children and life alters (I won't say slows down!), having a pet just makes sense. Not to mention all the benefits of pet ownership for kids, the responsibility, the companionship, the sharing and caring, putting someone else's needs before your own, and above all the total unconditional love a cherished pet gives.
Of course, responsible, educated pet ownership is key, and a remembrance that these are companion animals, not possessions. Rescue centres attest to the seemingly throwaway nature of our attitude to cats, dogs, horses and other animals, and should always be a first stop for any prospective pet owner, forget breeders and puppy farms. But even the best intentioned of us can sometimes overlook our pets' needs, not brushing them enough, not walking them enough, not playing with them enough etc. It's not sufficient to put down food twice a day and give a passing pat, it's our duty to make our pets' lives as good as they can possibly be.
Like us, Purina believes that the world is better with pets. They have started a campaign that dares hope for a better future for humans and pets together, a world where the benefits of pet ownership are recognised by everyone, and a society that celebrates pets and all that they offer, as well as what we can do for them. Purina recognises that this starts small, with individual commitments from pet owners like ourselves, but hopes it will build into a bigger movement that offers better healthcare for pets and owners, happier workplaces, and all-round happier animals, both human and pet. Together, we are better. Have a look at this fab video for more:
Will you join us and Purina today by making a commitment to your pet? Whether you promise your dog more frequent or longer walks - even in the rain, promise to comb your long-haired rabbit more often, or commit to helping your local animal shelter twice a month, whatever your commitment, make it today. If you run a café or small business, commit to leaving a dog bowl outside, or offer to welcome dogs in to your office or shop, make a charity donation or commitment, offer to walk an elderly neighbour's dog, whatever it is, commit to doing something more for pets.
Make your commitment here and share the fun animated gif you can create with family and friends.
We realised that we don't play with the cats as much as we used to, so our commitment is to play with them, every day. What will you promise?
You can find out more about the Purina #WeAreBetterWithPets campaign on their Facebook, Twitter and YouTube channels.